Handle With Care
The realisation as a teenager was hard to take: my future career was not going to be professional sports. At the time I dabbled with football, rugby and American football and was close to making the grade except for a lack of athleticism, skill and fitness plus I'd just discovered girls and pubs which as I have found in later life rarely add to productivity.
It's the day a lot of us probably carry around, the day we realised we wouldn't be winning world cups or famous (note this was pre X-factor, Big brother etc which allow any random freak their 15 minutes of fame) and in fact a grown up job was on the cards.
Fast forward more years than I'd care to remember and I'm lucky to work in such a sexy and dynamic industry as SIPPs (no seriously) that it helps take the pain away!
OK; joking aside my point is that if like me winning world cups didn't happen then its downright amazing when your grownup job can make you smile, laugh out loud or even better improve someone else's situation.
This has happened recently at Curtis Banks with the introduction of Scheme Pensions in to our products. A subject that has received a fair amount of press coverage some justified, some less so. Forgetting swizzy ways of conning the tax man (they will have their pound of flesh!) Scheme Pension is a genuine enhancement as a benefit option for certain clients at or around the age of 75.
This can help for instance if you find yourself in the position of dealing with a client whose health was deteriorating and frankly long term things didn't look great. Difficult and horrible situation but helped by the fact that one of the options available was Scheme Pension resulting a 35% increase in income.
In no way does this make everything OK but allowing the client an income tailored to their specific circumstances has to be a positive in an otherwise dire situation? An example of applying the right product at the right time for the right client.
And that's how it should be; SIPPs, SSAS and everything in between should come in to play when they are the answer for clients in specific circumstances and should be all about meeting specific needs.
So if you consider Scheme Pension for your clients please do so for the right reasons, not because of the PR it may have received or because of a too good to be true promise of reducing the 82% tax bill or reallocating funds. History tells us that HMRC make the rules, it's effectively their game and pushing the boundaries too far will result in them taking their ball home.
Scheme Pension can be a valuable option so let's use it in the right way and handle with care.